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Awhile back, I asked about experiences repairing windshields. I had mine done. Getting it fixed was quite an experience . . . but that is a long and probably boring story that I will save for another day.

The glass repair company convinced me to try their aftermarket glass. It was significantly cheaper (about 40% less), they had the glass in stock, and I was in a hurry to have it fixed before I took a three hour trip to see my brother. So I said ok.

When I scheduled the repair, they ASKED if I had a rain sensor (which I do). When the repair guy showed up, he took one look at my car and said if he used the after market glass, the rain sensor wouldn't work. They sent a piece with the right shading for it, but the aftermarket didn't come with a ceramic piece that goes bewteen the windshield and the rain sensor.

He said this happens all the time - the order takers have information that accounts for the rain sensor and sell the after market glass, but then they have to replace them b/c it never works afterwards if they try and reuse the old ceramic piece. The installers always inform the customers and ask them what they want to do.

The moral of the story is to either order oem or ask specifically about that ceramic rain sensor piece if you ever need a new windshield. I did not try the aftermarket piece. The OEM piece that showed up two weeks later after several calls without the glass company bothering to schedule the exact day they came out seems to work fine. And they replaced the seals. I stopped watching when he took a razorblade to the inside of the interior to cut the glass free . . .
 

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... and the 2001 windshield for 330i with rain sensor is not the same as the 2002 330i with rain sensor. The rain sensor itself is different on 2002 compared to 2001's, therefore the mounting brackets are different. Plus aftermarket windshields does not have the BMW roundel etched in the glass, a big deal if you check that all the glass, including the sunroof, in the car have the BMW roundel etched. You do not want any concerns from a dealer at trade in or by a prospective buyer ay time of selling your car because all the glass in your car but the windshield is OEM.

Just choose OEM...
 

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When I had mine replaced, they called back and asked if I had the rain sensor. That made me feel more comfortable because I thought they knew enough about BMW's to know which windshield I needed.

So I showed up, and they had a generic windsheild that had a little outline for where the sensor went, but it didn't have any of the tinting that hides all of the wiring, etc. when viewed from outside.

Since they had already destroyed my old windshield, I had to wait there for about 2 hours while they went around from dealer to dealer to dealer to find one in stock.

Everything went well from there on out, until right when they finished and the guy was cleaning the inside of the windshield, he put his hand on the headliner and his hand was covered with that black sealant stuff. Got it all over the headliner.
 
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